The Oracle Paths

Chapter 22 Lets get this party started!

nd the culprits with the help of their Oracles, many crimes were committed every day. The reason for this was obvious: the rush of adrenaline that accompanied taking a risk combined with the satisfaction of fulfilling a Coachs mission.

A serial killer was probably receiving all day long challenge missions to carry out more and more sophisticated crimes, or with increasingly strict conditions. Some Paths might even allow to escape all suspicion, or have innocent people charged, regardless of the existence of the Oracles to refute these false accusations.

Moreover, the experience given by the Oracles to increase the Authority Level was proportional to the difficulty of the Paths achieved. Some of these fugitives still at large may have already promoted their rank to the next level.

Jake turned off the television when the report advised every citizen to stay home after nightfall. It sounded dangerously like a curfew.

When it was finally past 7:00 p.m., Jake began to get ready. He put on a simple white shirt, stretchy black pants and a pair of suede shoes, no less comfortable than his sneakers. His clothing style lacked any extravagance, remaining functional and comfortable.

His idle instincts having a hard life, he made do with an old-fashioned comb-over. He inspected himself in the mirror for a brief moment, a contented smirk on his face, before setting off on his walk.

Crunch ignored him all along, taking a deep nap. The former homeless cat had gained weight and was now living his pasha life with gusto.

It was the first time he had ever been to Pauls house. His parents were among the fortunate few who owned an old villa prior to the construction of New Paris.

It was originally an old cottage lost in the middle of nowhere, but after the site was chosen to become the new capital, it became a popular piece of real estate.

Refusing to sell, the old residence had remained the same throughout the years, sticking out like a sore thumb among all the skyscrapers in the city center.

Besides being located in the heart of the business district with all amenities nearby, the police station was in the same street, ensuring optimal security. The other good thing was that it was less than twenty minutes walk away.

The red sun was fading away on the horizon, giving way to night when Jake reached his destination. A high gate and an intimidating wrought-iron fence isolated the house from ordinary people.

Jake rang the intercom to announce himself. Seconds later, the gate opened with a shrill squeak that made his ears bleed. A little lubricant to smooth out the joints would have been nice.

A short paved road and a fallow garden separated him from the mansion. As he walked those few meters, he noticed a doghouse, but no dog was nearby. As night fell, the old stone cottage looked like a haunted house.

Fortunately, the atmosphere changed completely when he walked through the front door. A piece of deafening pop-electro music immediately assaulted his eardrums. Multicoloured strobe lights really gave the feeling of entering a nightclub.

”Hey! Jake, you came! I cant believe it. ”Harry, sipping his beer near the lobby, was thrilled to see him.

Before his arrival, he was chatting with two other men. Paul Baker, the owner of the house, and Thiru Abimbola, another of his co-workers. Both greeted him in turn.

Paul, whom he had met earlier, only nodded his head. Thiru, for his part, shook his hand with a strong grip. The smell of musky spice immediately attacked his nostrils. Or in fact, it did not?

Thiru Abimbola was a tall black man, 1.9 meters tall, obese and his skin was constantly oily and oozing with sweat. He was the fruit of a hazardous union, an Ethiopian father and an Indian mother. He had inherited his fathers skin colour and his mothers straight hair.

His parents ran a restaurant mixing their two cultures, which together with his poor body hygiene gave him an exotic body odour to keep it poetic.

He wasnt an asocial nerd like them, quite the opposite. However, he had a peculiar character, manifested by a self-confidence that was absolutely disproportionate to what reality would suggest.

Nevertheless, life was full of surprises. Tonight, Thiru smelled good. He was well dressed, had his hair done, and had even lost seven or eight kilos since the last time they had seen each other. He was still obese, but it was still an incredible transformation, worthy of praise.

All in all, and unlike Paul, Thiru was another of those people to whom the Oracle had given wings.

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